On Words, Meaning – and Mindful Speaking

Straight to the point

It has been a while now since I have started to reflect and observe my ways of expression through words. Even in writing, I tend to simplify what I have to say, I use fewer words in order to express something ( I have become a bit bored of polemics) and at times even overthink what I am about to say – so that I eventually end up not saying it – since I feel it really doesn’t matter. In all this process, I understood that previously, I wasn’t always listening to myself when talking – and I have reached a personal conclusion – that using words wisely is an act of self-observation and actually improves and brings clarity to our relationship with others. Also, it is more time-effective to be brief, straightforward and precise when speak or write as only in this way we would give real meaning to words.

Think twice

So yes, coming back to myself, I believe that it is good to slow down a bit and think twice what I am about to say. Also, it is quite useful to reflect on my talking patterns, on those small talks and those comments that maybe will not be received well, or even, will not be considered as relevant as I might intend.  I am thinking here even at that random ‘how are you’… It is true – some people just use it as a kind of intro to what they have to say ( so disappointing though) however when I actually expect some answer in return, somehow I feel that it was not taken seriously, or even I get the impression that I am actually considered superficial, along with the first category. That is why I try to choose my words carefully as each and every word is a symbol, that translated through someone else’s experience might have a different impact and paint a different colour.

We make language

Language doesn’t make people – people make the language. Sometimes we forget that we are the creators, we have the power to decide and control what comes out of our mouths. How many times we just couldn’t help it and, in the heat of the moment we said something we shouldn’t have and we hurt the other?

Furthermore, I believe we are not out of examples of people who talk for the sake of hearing themselves, that go round in circles and elaborate in so many words that the substance, the meaning, remains still a question mark. Now, just draw the line and think – how time-consuming is our failure to express what we really feel, in having to readdress what we have just said or apologize for the hurtful words?

Listen to understand first

It is true, it is also important to listen, as many times I found myself being wrongly understood yet the problem was with the listener not with the message per se. Unfortunately, so many times we are swept in these ‘societal’ currents of friends, education, work and generally, mundane matters which completely turn ourselves into machines, into characters in our own life like ping-pong balls.

It is not only that we don’t participate in our own life, we even create situations that reflect that and at a closer look, support the superficial, the frugal and the perennial. That is how we are constantly indulged into this kind of defensive listening which is not REAL listening since the essence is missed – but which is only focused on the answering back, on who has the last word. It’s like an ego contest.

Remember – Silence is a blessing

All in all, I guess it all comes to asking ourselves – ‘what is it that I want the others to think,  to understand  – from what I have to say?’ and ‘how can I make the message accessible for the person in front of me?’ (the fact that you have a top-notch vocabulary does not mean that you have to expect everyone else to understand your academic language)

Having clarified that once and for all – you have taken the first step to giving value to your speech. Then, you can actually start to appreciate and see silence a bit differently. Of course, there are moments when being silent is not the best of ideas (interview, oral exams or maybe even your in-laws heheh) however still! I feel that nowadays, people are underestimating the power of silence – and this might be again because of the fact that we feel the utmost need to impress, to show-off – and to have the last word. Still – how would you feel about doing a silent retreat? I am telling you – after an experience like that you would definitely appreciate words much more than before.

Practice makes perfect

It is a day to day work though, this self-observation, however, once you will get your head around it, you will understand what – indirectly speaking – is meaningful to you when hearing someone talking. You would most probably look for honesty, for authenticity and for that positive vibe without which we would be a bit discouraged or maybe lose interest in a conversation. Now, as any skill, you might need to allow time and effort for this, but mostly awareness. So take some time and train yourself. Begin to see language as the projection of yourself.

On Experience – and the Duty to Ourselves

[ it has been a while since I last wrote and here is a portion of it – I have been to paradise, lived the eternity in two weeks (gotta say I was even lucky  for that!) and in all this have learned to be better at accepting the fact that moments come and go – long-awaited encounters leave you empty-handed and with a bittersweet taste in your mouth – it was yesterday when you had looked up at the sky and thanked the universe with all your heart. yet – you were aware that time has a duty – it goes fast when you don’t pay too much attention – and even when you do, it teaches you to be grateful for every moment – including for yesterday -even if today your universe is falling apart. sometimes we learn in a hard way but the important thing is that the lesson is there – that love is within and everywhere – eternity is now –  and the sky is the witness of our echo – an echo as an act of love. and love has no end – it flows through storms and drought. ]

‘The flute of the infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is love.  When love renounces all limits, it reaches truth’. Kabir

It is true that things are transitory. It is also true that in a Disquieted Universe where we lose ourselves in roles, thoughts and external forms, where we are sucked in an avalanche of possibilities and games of power – we tend to identify with them and lose our true perception of what REALLY matters. We lose perception of the truth.

Learn to remember

We forget – we forget to look inwards, to connect and once that connection is lost, we are stuck in this vicious circle where we search for approval, for meaning and ultimately for love and completion.

We forgot that these things did not matter. In our pursuit for happiness, we have dropped the only thing that mattered and that we have unconditionally- to experience, to understand ourselves.

There is a common misconception that we have lost something, that we are incomplete hence we are looking for the missing part. Yet it is not clear to us that in this search we mirror what we lack and hence we will get back the same.

Evolution of Self

Evolution means to understand who we are and to let go of all the conditioning,  see behind the identities and roles we are taught to play since we are toddlers.

It can be the ability to have a self-fulfilling answer to ‘Who am I’ – that ranges beyond looks, rank or status and above nationality, colour or religion. Once you are free of all these social constructs – you are left with one sole thing – love.

Yet, you cannot know love unless you live it. Same as you cannot have a profound knowledge of something you only know at the theoretical level. Here, by love, I don’t intend the search for the ideal, perfect union or partner – but the experience of it inside out. On the outside, it is in the small things, daily, as an act of perpetual curiosity, faith and good-will. On the inside, it is the patience, the support and the compassion that we should nourish ourselves with, regardless of how society or others’ expectations might rule.

Experience and freedom

Experience in this sense is (at least for how I understand it) also the space you allow yourself to deal with that baggage you are carrying – it is the making of it light again and the ability to make small steps every day in that encounter with yourself. Because yes, when we want, we are our worse enemy. Yet when we create that space within, when we are capable to rule our universe, when we are aware of our emotions, roles and work towards not identifying with them – that is the true experience of the self. Then we are free.

‘To see the world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower – hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.’ William Blake